What’s the Difference Between VoIP and PSTN and Why Should I Care?

    Tuesday 12, July

    Let’s get it out there: Internet telephony, cloud telephony, Voice over Internet Protocol -- whatever you want to call it -- isn’t a new thing. It’s been here for awhile and with each passing lap around the block -- or over the hills of the internet, as the case may be -- it has become more and more reliable, clear and secure. Today, VoIP rivals mobile phone and landlines for reliability and clarity.

    Why should you care? Because it just may revolutionize the way you work.

    How VoIP Makes it All Work

    First, let’s shout it out: Go VOYP! Go VOYP! Why? It’s fun, a little crazy-sounding, and that’s how you pronounce it.

    Okay, now that you’ve exercised those vocal chords and your colleagues are considering restraining you, we’re going to help you better understand how Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) actually works. Let’s begin by taking a moment to compare it to what we call your Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) - also known as your Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Yes, dear readers, there’s an acronym for everything and some are more fun than others.

    When placing a “normal” call using your antique corded telephone at Grandma’s house, you’re using a circuit-switched telephony system. While operators probably aren’t standing by to plug your call through, the notion remains the same: your call goes through a dedicated channel, like an old-school copper wire, from point A (you) to point B (your lucky call recipient). From tin can, through cotton string, to tin can, this antiquated system carries your analog voice data over the dedicated circuit.

    In stark contrast, VoIP uses packet-switched telephony, which is way cooler than copper and string. Using this system, the voice information travels from its source (you) in countless individual network packets, across the vast world of the internet, and magically reassembles to present the best, clearest you to your recipient.

    For now, it’s as close as you’re going to get to time travel. We’re working on that. And we promise there’ll be an awesome acronym.

    VoIP vs. POTS: A Side-By-Side Comparison

    VoIP vs POTS

    Shout “VOYP!”, and we’ll be there. Contact Lightspeed Voice to learn more.

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